Setting Up for Fingering and Intonation Success

Setting Up for Fingering and Intonation Success

When starting a beginner on a stringed instrument, whether it be violin, viola, cello or bass, it is important to set them up for success.  On a stringed instrument, this can be daunting, what with the bow, the instrument hold, and the uncharted territory of the fingerboard.  Both arms and every digit is doing something new.  On the violin and viola holding the instrument with the chin and shoulder is a further awkwardness to overcome.  When students are dealing with so many new skills all at the same time it’s important, especially in a classroom setting, to do what you can to help students find success in the beginning stages.

This is particularly important for intonation.  I believe that anything you can do to help them get used to hearing notes that are in tune (or close) goes a long way.  This to me means choosing to put tapes on the instruments and to use tuners for tuning.  It helps them to sound good right from the start, which motivates them to continue.

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